HARD­CORE AFFLICTION

THE FREE­DOM DE­FENDER FLIP­PER CQC-7 IS AN EDC TO BE RECKONED WITH

Knives Illustrated - - Gear Up - STORY AND PHO­TOS BY JOSHUA SWANAGON

Ten min­utes. A lot can hap­pen in 10 min­utes. You can or­ga­nize your sock drawer, read a good ar­ti­cle, cook a pack of ra­men noo­dles, or miss out on a chance to meet UFC Hall of Fame mem­ber Randy “The Nat­u­ral” Cou­ture. I have to ad­mit, that last one stung a bit.

Dur­ing my rounds at the 2017 SHOT Show in Las Ve­gas, I headed over to the Emerson Knives booth to take a look at their new prod­ucts. I was shown the Free­dom De­fender Flip­per CQC-7, done in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Randy Cou­ture and Affliction Cloth­ing. As I mar­veled over how nice the knife was and heard the story be­hind it, I made the im­me­di­ate de­ci­sion that it would be the cover knife for this is­sue. It was at that time I was told that if I had been there just 10 min­utes ear­lier, I could have met

Randy. Darn the bad luck! Oh well, at least I get to tell the story of this amaz­ing knife and the work Randy is do­ing for our vet­er­ans—eas­ing their phys­i­cal, psy­cho­log­i­cal and fi­nan­cial hard­ships through his Xtreme Cou­ture G.I. Foun­da­tion.

First Im­pres­sions

When I was first handed the Free­dom De­fender Flip­per CQC-7, there were many things that im­me­di­ately stood out to me. Although it had the clearly rec­og­niz­able Emerson look, it had some el­e­ments that re­ally made it pop.

The Free­dom De­fender sports the fa­mil­iar tex­tured, black, G-10 epoxy/glass lam­i­nate han­dle scales that you have come to know from the Emerson line of knives, but they’re set off beau­ti­fully by the red aero­space-grade ti­ta­nium lin­ers and pocket clip screws. The red lin­ers and screws give it just enough zing to re­ally make the Free­dom De­fender come to life. Emerson also pulled out all the stops on this knife when it comes to ac­cess­ing the blade in a hurry. You have three op­tions for bring­ing the knife to bear—the Emerson Wave fea­ture, a large flip­per that acts as a very com­fort­able fin­ger guard when open, and the thumb but­ton. Any one of these op­tions would be enough to make the blade very ac­ces­si­ble at a mo­ment’s no­tice, but to have all three in­creases your odds of hav­ing your blade out, even un­der duress. Open­ing the Free­dom De­fender is very smooth and catch­free through the whole ac­tion, with the blade com­ing to its fi­nal open po­si­tion with a clean au­di­ble snap of the liner lock. When clos­ing the blade, you can feel the de­tent pull the blade back into the closed po­si­tion, with a nice click, hold­ing the blade firmly in place.

“… AT LEAST I GET TO TELL THE STORY OF THIS AMAZ­ING KNIFE AND THE WORK RANDY IS DO­ING FOR OUR VET­ER­ANS—EAS­ING THEIR PHYS­I­CAL, PSY­CHO­LOG­I­CAL AND FI­NAN­CIAL HARD­SHIPS THROUGH HIS XTREME COU­TURE G.I. FOUN­DA­TION.”

The Free­dom De­fender CQC-7 sports a 3.3-inch chisel-ground tanto blade,

made of CPM S35VN stain­less steel, which has an al­most di­a­mond-cut look, made by the gor­geous hard lines of the tanto grind com­bined with the tasteful swedge on the drop point. The Free­dom De­fender has a 32-de­gree edge bevel on the grind side, while the flat side has a mi­cro bevel from strop­ping off the burrs. On the grind side of the blade, you will find the tra­di­tional Emerson logo and model des­ig­na­tion with the knife num­ber, while the flat side of the blade is adorned with the “Affliction Free­dom De­fender” foun­da­tion crest with ea­gle, star and flag el­e­ments. Every part of this project dis­plays all-amer­i­can pride.

“… THE FLAT SIDE OF THE BLADE IS ADORNED WITH THE ‘AFFLICTION FREE­DOM DE­FENDER’ FOUN­DA­TION CREST WITH EA­GLE, STAR AND FLAG EL­E­MENTS. EVERY PART OF THIS PROJECT DIS­PLAYS ALL-AMER­I­CAN PRIDE.”

The pocket clip, which is em­bla­zoned with the Affliction logo, is tight and holds the Free­dom De­fender se­curely in the pocket. The Free­dom De­fender is made for right pocket, tip up carry only, as there are no other op­tions for clip po­si­tion—which is com­mon with Emerson knives, due to the chisel grind and Wave fea­ture. Just be­hind the clip, on the butt, is the nice, full-size, lan­yard hole for af­fix­ing a lan­yard. (This al­lows a lit­tle eas­ier draw of the knife, even when un­der duress.) You can add one of Emerson’s lan­yards, avail­able on their web­site, or some­thing else of your own lik­ing, as I did.

Through the Paces

Dur­ing the test­ing phase of this re­view, I was quite happy with the way that the Free­dom De­fender per­formed. Hav­ing car­ried it for a time now, I re­ally like the way it rides in the pocket—it

rides low enough to not be ob­tru­sive, while hav­ing just enough stick­ing out of the top of the pocket to get a good pur­chase on the knife for a solid draw uti­liz­ing the Wave fea­ture. It has a fairly nar­row profile, so it doesn’t take up too much of the pocket, get­ting in the way of keys and other items you may like to carry in the same side.

For my first test, I wanted to check the slash­ing power of the chisel grind, so I took two wa­ter bot­tles and stood them up, one at a time, tak­ing a cou­ple slashes at each. Although the 3.3-inch blade was not as long as the bot­tles were wide (pre­vent­ing me from get­ting all the way through from front to back), I was able to cut very cleanly with­out knock­ing the bot­tles down. Next, I took a can­taloupe, stood it on end and pro­ceeded to de­liver a bat­tery of slashes, all of which cleanly sliced through the can­taloupe with­out knock­ing it over.

Next, I wanted to test the pen­e­tra­tion power of the tanto point, so I placed a piece of leather onto a phone­book, and with one stab­bing mo­tion, I was able to pierce cleanly all the way through the phone­book, with the tip pro­trud­ing out the other side and a bit into my ta­ble. I be­lieve that the Free­dom De­fender will have no is­sues with be­ing able to pen­e­trate any sub­ject mat­ter you may put be­fore it.

Fi­nally, I wanted to test its slic­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties, so I started with the same phone­book, where I sim­ply pressed

the blade down through the cor­ner on the bind­ing side and cut it off cleanly. I fol­lowed this with an­other test by lay­ing down dou­ble-lay­ered card­board and slic­ing it into pieces. It wasn’t un­til I moved the pieces out of the way that I re­al­ized I was not only cut­ting the card­board but the ta­ble as well, with no dam­age to the edge. I then cut a moun­tain bike tire (af­ter cut­ting the me­tal bead with a wire cut­ter so I wouldn’t dam­age the blade) and it sliced right through it like there was a prize on the in­side. Fi­nally, I per­formed my typ­i­cal rope press-cut test, where I sim­ply try to press the knife through a piece of 1/2-inch climb­ing rope. As I had ex­pected, due to the ge­om­e­try of

a chisel grind, I was not able to press through the rope, so I pro­ceeded to slice through and was able to get clean slices with no is­sue.

“WITH ITS SLEEK STYLING AND AG­GRES­SIVE FUNC­TION­AL­ITY, THIS KNIFE IS A MUST-HAVE FOR ANY EMERSON FAN OR ANY­ONE LOOK­ING FOR AN EDC BLADE THAT IS ALL BUSI­NESS.”

By the end of my test­ing, I found that the knife was quite com­fort­able and the edge held up very well and was still able to cleanly cut pa­per. All in all, the Free­dom De­fender held up well and was very com­fort­able in the hand.

All Busi­ness EDC

Per­haps it’s my back­ground in mar­tial arts and com­bat­ives, but Emerson Knives have al­ways had my at­ten­tion, ever since my first Emerson Karam­bit that I pur­chased many years ago, and still have to­day. The Free­dom De­fender CQC-7 is no ex­cep­tion.

With its sleek styling and ag­gres­sive func­tion­al­ity, this knife is a must-have for any Emerson fan or any­one look­ing for an EDC blade that is all busi­ness. What’s more, when you pur­chase the Free­dom De­fender you can rest with the fact that you are tak­ing part in some­thing big­ger by part­ner­ing with Randy Cou­ture, Affliction Cloth­ing and Emerson Knives to help our vet­er­ans when they need it the most. God bless Amer­ica and those that de­fend her. KI

Right: The blade is a chisel grind tanto blade with an al­most di­a­mond-cut look, thanks to the hard lines on the grinds and the swedge on the drop point.

Above: The over­sized flip­per acts as a fin­ger guard when the Free­dom De­fender is open.

Top Right: The thumb but­ton can be re­moved and re­placed with an up­graded thumb but­ton from Emerson—to dress it up a bit more—if de­sired.

Bot­tom Right: The thumb jimp­ing aids in greater con­trol dur­ing slic­ing tasks.

Top: Dur­ing my test­ing, I got some very clean slashes on a can­taloupe with­out knock­ing it over.

Mid­dle: When stab­bing into a phone­book and leather swatch, I pierced right through the phone­book and slightly into the ta­ble be­low.

Bot­tom: I pressed the blade all the way through to cut off the en­tire cor­ner of a phone­book at the spine side.

Us­ing the tip, I sliced through two thick lay­ers of card­board (and even into the ta­ble) with no signs of wear on the blade.

Top: I cut a moun­tain bike tire (af­ter cut­ting the me­tal bead with wire cut­ters) cleanly and quickly. Left Cir­cle: The pocket clip is adorned with the Affliction logo and holds the Free­dom De­fender firmly in the pocket.

Right Cir­cle: The flat side of the blade in­cludes the Affliction Free­dom De­fender foun­da­tion crest.

The Free­dom De­fender Flip­per CQC-7 is a solid EDC with hard­core ac­tion in mind.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.